Giving is an exciting part of being a believer and part of a church body. The heart of a giver is to bless more than to receive. The motive of a giver is to uplift others and see the joy of God’s provision work to his glory. The discipline of a giver causes spiritual growth and maturity as they surrender control and fear for lack of provision. God asks us to be a people who accept the scriptural challenge of testing him in our giving and see if He won’t cause our households to overflow.
:33 I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes.
- Paul was satisfied with whatever he had
- Paul’s main aim was to do God’s work
:34 You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me.
- Paul was a tent maker by trade
- He worked his skill to care for his needs so he wouldn’t be a burden on others and to care for the needs of those whom served with him
- NKJV- “provided for my necessities”
:35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
- “Constant example”- Paul is saying that if your needs require you to work outside of the ministry, then use the skills he has given you. Working a job outside the ministry is not the priority, it is a means to an end. Paul’s tentmaking didn’t change the fact that he was there to “help those in need” by sharing the gospel.
- Paul’s heart was to work hard so you can take care of your needs and continue in the priority of doing God’s work
- Example- Pastor Jimmy knew he and his family were called by God to serve Summit County and plant Great Divide Calvary, so they worked in the community while also planting and maintaining the church.
- Reference scriptures –
- Proverbs 27:23
- Phil. 2:4
- 2 Cor. 9:6-10
- Mal. 3:8-10
- What do you have to give? God has given us all we need for life and godliness. He has provided us with resources to bless others with. Can you give of your time, your possessions and/or your finances?
- The Lord loves a “cheerful” giver. This is a heart condition not a obligation. We should give from the joy in our hearts because God has given to us. What does it mean to be a cheerful giver according to 2 Corinthians 9:6-10? What does the spirit of generosity look like in your life?
- Read Malachi 3:8-10. In what area does God ask you to “test” him in?The NKJV says, “try me,” and then we are challenged “to see” if God won’t work on our behalf.
- Look at Proverbs 3:9-10 and write down what you can do and what God will do for you.
- Giving should be exciting, it should be a joy. How does the enemy rob you of your joy in being a giver? Pray for God to remove fear, selfishness and control from your heart so you can experience the excitement of giving.
- If you are a part of a church body, how can you “help those in need” as Paul referred to in Acts 20:35? How can you look at your resources that God has given you and use them to bless your church body? Pray over that and if you’ve never been a giver in this arena before, ask God to change your heart for it is “more blessed” to give then to receive. Watch and see what God will do.
Lord, if we have never been people who give of our resources, may You change that in our hearts. Reveal to us the joy of giving. Let our hearts take joy in being generous with all that you have blessed us with. If we are the people giving out of our last denarii, than do as your word says and bless the heart of giving from a lack of resources.
May the discipline of giving cause growth spiritually and physically. Examine our hearts in giving and if we are a people who need to control where our giving goes, than give us freedom of heart and allow us to trust you and not man. Oh Lord provide for us in all areas, change our hearts concerning giving and fill our households with the joy of giving.
Protect us from our enemy stealing our joy in this area of our Christian walks. Let us be a people who embrace the spiritual discipline of giving for “it is more blessed to give than receive”.